The interior of Robert Ashtin Salon glows with serene hues of sea-foam blue punctuated by the stylists’ mirrors and pieces of art including a grid of ceramic leaves. These aesthetic flourishes symbolize the artful salon work performed by the staff. A pink-and-white damask accent wall can reflect the intricate beauty of clients’ new hair colors, which stylists transform with odorless, ammonia-free Inoa products. With Coppola Keratin Complex products, stylists tame frizzy locks into streams of hair so silky that it won’t blister the hands of Rapunzel’s future suitors the way her coarse locks did.
Inside this multicultural salon, all textures of hair meet their match with one of Rhapsody Beauty Lounge’s stylists. Stylists can usher clients to shampoo stations, where padded leather beds take the place of chairs to allow for a comfortable sudsing. From there, stylists can trim hair into flattering shapes, add warmth with highlights, twist and style natural hair, or create elaborate braids.
Pretty Girls Rock pampers its pintsize clientele with services both grownup and age-appropriate. Amid bright-pink walls and zebra-printed accents, the salon's staff works with patrons 13 and younger, offering colored extensions, applying hair flowers, and trimming hair into chic styles. Birthday parties of up to eight girls include a party room complete with Wii Dance and Shirley Temples, and the birthday girl heads home with an 8"x10" photo to commemorate the event and prove once and for all that none of her friends are invisible.
Before Lisa Jones-Butz opened her own salon, she graduated from the University of Baltimore, studied art history in Europe, and attended styling school. She went on to become a Wella educator, training new stylists at seminars and assisting seasoned pros at national shows. When she isn't cohosting a monthly makeover segment on FOX45 or writing a beauty and style column for Harford's Heart magazine, Lisa curates artwork and crops locks at Subtle Rebellion, her boutique salon and art gallery.
Amid plain white walls, wooden floors, and modern track lighting, underexposed artists display their paintings, sculptures, and jewelry. This art inspires stylists such as Megan Little, who specializes in edgy cuts and multidimensional color, and Raphael Rocca, who often studies new hair trends with L'Oréal in New York, to turn listless locks into fashion-forward masterpieces with products by Moroccanoil, L'Oréal, and Redken. When they aren't cutting and tinting strands these hair artists smooth tendrils with keratin treatments and mold manes for photo shoots, weddings, and trips to the car wash.
Back in the 1960s, beauty was so simple that some beauty parlors—like the nine traditional ones run by Robert Andrew Zupko—only had one service: roller sets. But beauty trends began to change, so Zupko changed right along with them, adding skincare and nailcare to his hairstyling business. When 1996 hit the calendars, the salon evolved into a full-fledged day spa that covered 7,000 square feet.
Zupko has since created Robert Andrew – The Salon & Spa, a 22,000-square-foot Tuscan-style getaway nestled in the giant scalene triangle that connects D.C., Annapolis, and Baltimore. Inside the salon, more than 90 beauty professionals—including nail technicians, massage therapists, and stylists—shape and polish nails, snip split ends, and disentangle achy muscle knots. The salon also boasts a troupe of Yon-Ka trained aestheticians who remove dead skin cells with pumpkin enzymes and melt away frozen funny faces with hot-stone facials.
More recently, Zupko opened Robert Andrew Medical Spa, where the spotlight's on lasers, injectables, chemical peels, and other high-tech skincare services.
Brian Bunce Barbers shears, snips, and shapes head fleece in its retro-inspired barbershop. A red-and-white checkered floor leads the way to vintage 1940s barber chairs, which, when sat in, instantly relax and improve the bench-press strength of any hairy heroes in need of mug renewal. Each barber station boasts its own plasma-screen TV framed by dark wood cabinetry.